Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy


The Battle of Wisconsin

Shambaugh Auditorium
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 6:30 PM

Last years’ emblematic showdown in Wisconsin touches on a number of themes important to this course, including civil discourse, state budgeting, collective bargaining, and money in politics.  We will draw on a brief presentation from last fall’s political discourse symposium to introduce the key issues, and then consider the broader implications.



  • Colin Gordon

    Colin Gordon

    Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa

    Professor Gordon’s research interests focus on public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. He has published three books in this area, including Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America, which reviews the history of health care policy in the United States during that period. He is also a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. He is the author of several IPP reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions, including the biennial State of Working Iowa series. Dr. Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Department of History. To visit Dr. Gordon's web page, click here.

  • Jen Sherer

    Jen Sherer

    Director, University of Iowa Labor Center

    Jennifer Sherer is Director of the University of Iowa Labor Center, which conducts educational programming for Iowa’s organized workforce. She previously served as president of UE Local 896-COGS (the Campaign to Organize Graduate Students), a Project Staff Organizer for the UE (United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers), and taught as a graduate instructor in the UI Rhetoric and English Departments. She joined the Labor Center in 2002 to work on the Center's Child Labor Public Education Project, part of the UI Child Labor Research Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Sherer is currently a member and officer of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Local 716, and serves on the boards of the UI Center for Human Rights, the Iowa Policy Project, the UI Occupational Medicine Residency program, and the Labor Studies Journal. She holds PhD and MA degrees from the University of Iowa, and a BA from Oberlin College.

  • Laura Dresser

    Laura Dresser

    Laura Dresser (BA, Rice University; MSW, PhD, University of Michigan) is Associate Director of COWS. A labor economist and expert on low-wage work and workforce development systems, she has both written about ways to build stronger labor market systems and worked extensively with labor, business, and community leaders in building them. Dresser has written widely on race and gender inequality and labor market reform. She is most recently co-editor of The Gloves-Off Economy: Workplace Standards at the Bottom of America's Labor Market.

Audio Slideshows